Birthday Journey Adventure
July 16th, 2012
In our guest’s own words…
“Well here it is another hot day and it is 100 already with a high supposed to get to 105. Sure glad tomorrow is going to only be in the mid 80s. After a marvelous breakfast with enough food to feed all their horses too, we decided to take a rolling picnic and explore the area. I also wanted to take Martha down to the Mississippi. We found the Mississippi River Road and followed it for a while. Then we found a river access road that went all the way to a boat launch along the river. Martha wanted a picture of her dipping her toe in the river but we were afraid the wet muddy ramp would be too slick and did not want her to slip and fall. So we continued to march forward.
Then the REAL journey began. Using one of the mapping programs on the phone we turned down a “road” that looked like it would go along the river. Well, shortly after turning down the road it turned more into a gravel road, then rutted with grass in the middle. But the map still showed it as some kind of road. Then we came to a fallen tree across the road. In typical country fashion, instead of cutting the tree and removing it, they just wore a new path around it. So we kept marching forward.
After rounding a bend and cresting a hill (yes, real hills in this part of Illinois!!) the “road” became a grassy worn path through a field of weeds (at lest something grows in this heat and drought). The map program kept indicating we were on a “road” and there was an intersection just ahead at the other end of the field. So we kept marching forward.
Most fields here in Illinois when it is drought and heat wave get hard baked and crack. Well guess what? In THIS part of the state I guess it gets sandy and soft. Our “road” became sandy and soft and we slid around a little. No problem, right? Just slap it into four wheel drive and we got it made. So we kept marching forward.
Or did we?
Did you know a heavy truck with people in it likes to sink in soft dry sand? Neither did I, until it did. Tried forward, tried backward, tried rocking back and forth, even tried getting out to push. All we managed to do was make a nice pile of sand behind all the wheels. We were stuck… In the middle of a bottom land field… Only God knows where… Thanking God at least we had cell service… Barely. So we called Harpole’s Heartland Lodge where we are staying and tried to explain our predicament. They found some of the guys on staff and we explained the best we could where we were (we turned on Rip Rap River Access Road the last time I could identify a road) and they were coming out with some shovels in a car (no truck available, please Lord don’t let the car get stuck before they find us.)
While we waited we listened to Christmas tunes to help make us feel cooler and played games. Thank goodness we have good AC in the truck. Before long we see a car cresting the hill behind us. THEY were smart enough to stop before getting off the rocky road. And two angels come walking across the field, shovels in hand and smiles on their faces. Talk about service above and beyond the call of duty!! So after some pushing and rocking we got unstuck! One guy was doing the driving and he did not stop until he got on rocky surface again. I fell in the sand after the truck got moving, but was thrilled to see it moving again!
When we caught up with the truck we lavished our rescue angels with thanks and made our way back onto civilized roads again. We headed into town for gas and then back to the lodge where it was safe and cool. Enough adventure or one day!!”
Mitch and Martha Duszynski